Abstract

Following the development of low friction hull coatings and azimuthing propulsion for icebreaking vessels, the development of auxiliary systems for reducing ice resistance fell from focus of research. One of these systems is comprised of active heeling tanks which induce a forced roll motion on the icebreaker. Today it is not fully understood how effective or even useful such systems would be for the icebreaking performance in combination with a modern icebreaking hull form. In this study, the impact of active heeling systems on level ice resistance is investigated by performing ice model tests with an icebreaker representing the latest design generation. The level ice thickness used in the model tests corresponds to the maximum continuous icebreaking capability of the evaluated vessel in multi-year ice conditions. Additionally, a calculation method is developed to predict the impact of forced roll motion on the ice resistance. The calculated prediction is evaluated against the model-scale data. Finally, the effectiveness of the active heeling system is evaluated from an engineering perspective: does the active heeling system reduce the power demand, or would the same result be achievable by increasing the propulsion power accordingly. It was found that the roll motion impacts the ice resistance in level ice. The main influence in this regard lies with the tank volume and metacentric height of the icebreaker. Additionally, it was observed that an optimum heel angle dependent on the ice condition can be determined which is not necessarily the highest one achievable. The case study predicts a reduced power demand for a modern icebreaker hull form in harsh ice conditions.

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